a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Stepping Up to Women’s Rights-A Cross Post

Posted on: March 28, 2013

GBHThere’s something incredibly powerful about stepping, a form of percussive dance in which the participant’s entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken words and hand claps. These rhythmic stomping and beats can have a profound effect on the listener as well as the stepper. I should know; I grew up in a household where stepping was the norm.

My father, an active member of a national black fraternity often had brothers over, especially during pledging. Some of my favorite memories are the sounds of combat boots on the pavement that would lure me out of the house and into our back yard. I’d watch with the young men currently on line (pledges) as members of the frat stepped and chanted. Stepping is ancient. It’s culture. It’s a history that lives in the people and communities who make step a part of their lives.

An American Jewish World Service AJWS event was the last place I expected to see stepping, but last week night at the Green Space I experienced the familiar rhythm that puts my mind at ease as much as it screams, WAKE UP! The event, held in conjunction with Global Circle, featured the amazing ensemble Girl Be Heard, a multi-ethnic, youth-led organization that uses theater, song and step to empower girls to write about and overcome violence, gender discrimination, poverty, lack of opportunity and rape as a weapon of war. The performance included 19 original pieces which started with Tikkun Olam, a piece written and performer Monica Furman, a Jewish women living in Brighton Beach.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/173756/stepping-to-womens-rights/#ixzz2OqFMvQCG

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